Sunday, February 27, 2011

Broccoslaw Lo Mein

I have been buying broccoslaw discounted at Kroger’s for a while now. At $1 a bag, it’s a great bargain. But there is only so much ramen salad we can eat. Last week there were six bags marked down and I was tempted, but I don’t have enough recipes to use it up. It keeps pretty well in the crisper.

So far I have used it for greens on paninis and sandwiches, in Egg Foo Yung and stir fries. I have also dropped it in some soups and stews, and on salads. I was brainstorming last night about how to make a pasta dish with it. I thought that angel hair pasta was about the right size to match with broccoslaw and a Lo Mein dish seemed right! It turned out very well. I had to have seconds.

If you check with some Asian food stores, you can find many more varieties of soy sauce. I find the lighter sauces work better with fish and chicken dishes.

Serves 4-6

4 oz. angel hair pasta

2 Tbsp. sesame seed oil

1 bag (16 oz.) broccoslaw

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. light golden soy sauce

1 tsp. fish sauce

1. Boil pasta in large kettle of water until barely al dente. Drain and reserve.

2. Heat wok until hot and dry. Lightly coat with canola oil spray. Return to very low heat while assembling rest of ingredients.

3. Turn wok to high heat. Add 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil and spread it around wok. Add broccoslaw and garlic and stir fry until tender and bright green. Remove from wok and set aside.

4. Heat wok until hot and dry. Add 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil and spread it around wok. Add reserved pasta and stir fry until hot. Add reserved broccoslaw and toss with pasta.

5. Beat eggs well. Beat in soy and fish sauce. Pour over food in wok and toss together until all is mixed and egg is cooked.

6. Serve immediately as a side dish with fish or chicken. Add another vegetable or salad.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Adobo Baked Eggs

Since I had some leftover Adobo Sauce this week, I thought I would try it in baked eggs. I didn’t want to cook the sausage on the side, so I used a larger baking dish – 12 oz. individual casseroles. I wanted to savor the adobo flavor, so I didn’t spice up the sausage with chorizo seasonings as I normally would.
Serves 4
½ cup Adobo Sauce
½ lb. lean country sage bulk sausage
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
8 eggs
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded mild cheddar
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Mexican Blend with queso quesadilla
8 corn tortillas
Fresh fruit
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Lightly coat four 12-ounce individual casseroles with canola oil spray.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce in each dish.
4. Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet, until hot and dry. Remove from heat and lightly coat with canola oil spray. Return skillet to very low heat while dicing vegetables.
5. In the seasoned skillet, sauté the sausage with onions, green peppers and garlic over medium high heat. Break up the sausage into crumbles, cooking until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is translucent.
6. Put ¼ of meat mixture over the adobo sauce in each baking dish.
7. Crack two eggs into each dish.
8. Put a good handful, (about a ¼ cup), of cheddar cheese on top.
9. Put a good handful, (about a ¼ cup), of Mexican blend cheese over the cheddar to cover completely.
10. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
11. Remove from oven and set aside for five minutes before serving.
12. While the eggs are setting, heat some corn tortillas one by one until wilted on a hot seasoned cast iron skillet or comal to serve with the egg cups. Stack and wrap the tortillas as they are heated in a large square of aluminum foil.
13. Put each baking dish on a large ovenproof plate to serve. Butter, fold and stack 2 warm tortillas on the side. Serve with fresh fruit – citrus wedges, melon slices, grapes or sliced apples.

Chili Sauce Baked Eggs

For years, I have made a killer homemade chili sauce. There’s something about the flavor that just grabs me and won’t let go. It’s similar to the flavor of bottled Heinz chili sauce, which can be substituted. My usual recipe was to dump a bunch of chili sauce in a skillet, poach the eggs on top, and melt the cheese over them.

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching one of my regular shows, Chef on a Shoestring on the CBS Saturday Early Show. Chef Michael Schwartz of Miami made Roasted Double Yolk Eggs with Tomato and Asiago. I thought that was a really neat and quick way to bake eggs. I have certainly simplified that recipe. It was very good!!!

Serves 4

1/3 cup chili sauce
8 eggs
1/4 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Lightly coat four 6-ounce custard cups with canola oil spray.

3. Put a heaping tablespoon of chili sauce in each cup.

4. Crack two eggs into each cup.

5. Put a good handful, (about a ¼ cup), of cheese on top to cover completely.

6. Put the cups on a baking sheet and set on the middle rack of the oven.

7. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and set aside for five minutes before serving.

9. While the eggs are setting, toast some whole grain bread, English muffins or bagels to serve with the egg cups.

10. Put the cups on a large ovenproof plate to serve with toast and fresh fruit on the side – citrus wedges, melon slices, grapes or sliced apples.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adobo Sauce for Beef or Chicken

I created this recipe originally for wet beef burritos. Then I used it for chicken enchiladas. Ladle a quarter cup of sauce over your favorite rolled burrito or enchilada. Top with lots of grated asiago or Colby cheese. Put plates in oven at 350° for about five minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly on the edges. Serve hot plates in bamboo holders. Very delicioso!

Yield: 3 cups (enough for 12 small burritos or enchiladas)

2 cups water

¼ cup flour

1 tsp. (1 small) adobo pepper canned in tomato sauce

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. Beef or Chicken bouillon base

Whisk all ingredients together in a blender.

Put in glass bowl and microwave on high for two minutes.

Whisk and cook for 1 ½ minutes.

Whisk again and cook for one more minute.

Repeat for one more minute if needed to thicken.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yumasetta – an Amish classic casserole

Serves 6

I have downsized and lightened this Amish classic casserole for a healthier family meal. Use the low-fat, low-salt versions of the canned soups, if you can find them. Aldi’s sells Light and Fit versions. My family has enjoyed this classic casserole for many years.

Excerpted from: The Best of Amish Cooking, by Phyllis Pellman Good

“What Is The Amish Food Tradition In The New World?”

Many myths exist about the Amish and their food. Separated as they are from the larger world in their dress and transportation choices, they are not immune to the many food options in the grocery stores of their communities. They shop, and so they pick up packaged cereal, boxes of fruit-flavored gelatin and cans of concentrated soup. Although tuna noodle casserole and chili con carne turn up on the tables of Amish homes, and chocolate chip cookies and lunch meats are packed into the lunch boxes of Amish school children, cornmeal mush and chicken pot pie are still favorites. Because the Amish are a living group, despite their regard for tradition, their menus continue to change. Their foods are influenced by their neighbors and the recipes they find on boxes containing packaged foods or in the pages of farm magazines and local newspapers.

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 medium Onion chopped (1/4 cup)

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 can (10.5 oz.) condensed tomato soup

8 oz. wide Egg noodles

1 can (10.5 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup

4 oz. sliced American cheese (not cheese food)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Lightly coat a 2 qt. glass baking dish with canola oil spray.

3. Heat an 10 inch cast iron skillet, until hot and dry. Remove from heat and lightly coat with canola oil spray. Return skillet to very low heat while dicing onion and putting water on to boil for noodles.

4. Cook egg noodles; drain. Return drained noodles to kettle and stir in cream of chicken soup.

5. Brown beef and onion in seasoned skillet, stirring to break up meat. Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar and tomato soup.

6. Layer beef mixture in bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer cheese slices over beef mixture. Layer noodle mixture over the cheese slices.

7. Put in middle rack of oven and bake for 30 minutes.

For a traditional meal, serve with sides of green beans, pickled beets, bread and butter.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ivy's Fetatziki


I found this recipe on a recipe group and traced it back to the original blog post. They are certainly interesting standing like little towers, but I find it easier and more practical to cut them like boats, then hollow out and fill. Or use very small cucumbers to serve as hors d’oeuvres. Or top large slices with the cheese and decorate with roasted red pepper, sliced black olives and dill.

Ivy has also gathered some great info on Feta cheese. Thank you, Ivy!

Feta is a white cheese and is the most consumed cheese in Greece. It’s also the most widely exported Greek cheese. And feta cheese is exclusively Greek. In 2005, after sixteen years of hot debate, the European Union’s highest court decreed that «feta» is protected as a traditional Greek product, and that none of the other EU member nations can use the name.

Feta is a salted curd cheese made from either sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or a blend. It is sold in many degrees of firmness, ranging from soft and crumbly to fairly hard. Its flavor varies from mild to sharp. Because it is cured (from a week to several months) and stored in its own salty whey or water brine, feta is often referred to as a «pickled cheese.»

Feta does not have a rind or outer hard layer and is usually pressed into square or rectangular blocks. It dries out and sours quickly when removed from its brine; for that reason, blocks of packaged feta cheese are covered with brine, and should be stored, refrigerated, in the brine until used. Feta is available in most supermarkets as a solid block packed in brine, or crumbled.

Feta is used as an appetizer, side dish, and as an ingredient in salads, filled pies, and pastries. Its use in preparing and serving Greek food is almost as imperative as the use of olive oil. Feta may be used in most recipes that call for cheese: vegetable and fruit salads, filled pies, as a topping for or ingredient in cooked rice and tomato-based pastas, as a filling for omelets, in sandwiches, and elsewhere.

Feta has been a favorite cheese in Greece for many centuries. Homer’s «Odyssey» contains several references to cheese which may have been feta cheese. In Greek mythology, the Cyclops Polyphemus was perhaps the first feta cheese manufacturer: carrying the milk that he collected from his sheep in animal-skin bags, he discovered that, days later, the milk had become a solid, savory, and preservable mass – the first feta cheese? Another tale from Greek mythology credits Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, with its discovery.

Clifford A. Wright, a writer and cook specializing in the regional cuisines of the Mediterranean and Italy, suggests that the word «feta» may be of ancient Italian origin. Wright says, «the word feta does not exist in classical Greek; it is a New Greek word, originally tyri pheta, or ‘cheese slice,’ the word feta coming from the Italian word fette, meaning a slice of food.»


I totally agree with the above article and that is the reason why I copied it as it is. I read several other silly articles about feta which were outrageous as Bulgarians, Albanians Turks, Danish and French claim that they have the best feta. Some of them even claim that Greek feta is made only of cow’s milk!!!! How ignorant. That cheese is called Telemes.

Regarding the origin of the word feta, Greek language has borrowed a lot of words not only from the Italian language but also from the English, French, and Turkish etc. These words came back to the Greek language transformed. Here is an example you will all understand:

Μπιζέλι (το) < ιταλ. pisello < λατ. υποκοριστικό *pisellum < λατ. pisum < αρχαίο ελλ. πίσος (ο) | πίσον (το). The word Μπιζέλι = mpizeli meaning (peas in English) in Italian pisello derived from the Latin diminutive pisselum from Latin pisum, which derived from the ancient Greek word πίσος (pisos) and in modern Greek it is now called mpizeli. Greek is a very complex language and to understand ancient Greek it is even very difficult even for us, as well. I made this one day when I was planning to make tzatziki, only to discover at the last minute that the last yoghurt in the refrigerator was eaten by one of my children. I am so grateful they did because we loved it so much. If you love tzatziki, I am sure you will love fetatziki (this is how words and recipes are born)!!! I never imagined how well garlic would match feta. It has a totally different taste than tzatziki, is spicier and makes a perfect mezes for a glass of wine or ouzo. I have been making it ever since and this time I filled the cucumbers with this filling. I decorated it with some Piperies Florinis, which are roasted red sweet peppers. It was really very refreshing and delicious not to mention impressive.

100 grams feta

2 small cucumbers

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp dill, finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper


Roasted red peppers or kalamata olives and dill for decoration

1. Wash cucumbers and drain. Carefully scoop out the inside of the cucumber, being careful not to open the edge, reserving the insides. Cut the tip of the cucumber so that it may stand up.

2. Put the inside of the cucumber in a food processor, add the cheese, olive oil, pepper and garlic. Process into a paste. Stir in the dill.

3. Sprinkle the scooped out cucumbers with a pinch of salt and fill with the cheese mixture.

4. Decorate with some bits of sliced roasted pepper or black kalamata olives and dill.

5. Refrigerate before serving.

Note: Use small cucumbers which do not contain seeds and have less water. Otherwise, seeds have to be removed and the cucumber insides must be processed separately from the feta and oil so it can be drained.

Grandma Fewless’ Sour Milk Sugar Cookies

When I was a child, I would “help” Grandma make these cookies. It was great fun (messy too!) and the prize was a fresh warm cookie, sweet and soft. This recipe puffs up to make great sugar cookies.

Yield: 3 dozen

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp. white vinegar

6 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch salt

2 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups shortening

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets.

2. To make sour milk, add vinegar to milk, and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together 4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and sugar.

4. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

5. Stir in sour milk, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Add the remaining flour. Stir and handle as little as possible or the dough will toughen. Dough should be very soft.

6. Toss the whole batch of dough on a heavily floured surface. Pat it out with a liberal dusting of flour to about ½ inch thick. Lightly roll out dough with a rolling pin to ¼ inch thick. Cut with 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter, pressing straight down. Do not twist. Lift gently and carefully with spatula. Toss gently between hands to shake off excess flour. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

7. Put some sugar in a salt shaker and sprinkle cookies with sugar.

8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on brown paper.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Double Fudge Brannies

I created this cookie circa 1979 to fill a craving a friend and I had to just stuff ourselves with something rich and chocolaty and still claim some redeeming value. This is really a chocolate chip cookie on steroids and health food. Ha ha! Just for you Joanne!

Beware how many you eat! They are VERY yummy. I took a batch to a Halloween party and the kids made a raid on them. All the moms knew if their kids were guilty by the next morning. ;-)

I have entered this recipe in numerous cookie contests, but have had no response. Oh well.

Yield: 5 dozen

2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup cocoa, powdered
1 tsp. baking powder, (no aluminum)
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips, (2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and baking powder.

In large mixer bowl, cream together butter and peanut butter with sugar and brown
sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Stir in flour one cup at a time. Fold in chocolate chips.

Roll a teaspoon of dough in a ball and place on ungreased 10x15 inch baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Flatten cookie lightly with a drinking glass dipped in sugar. Repeat to fill cookie sheet (about 13 cookies).

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until just set. A slight depression should remain when touched lightly with a fingertip. Cookies should still be soft, like a moist brownie. If baked too long, they will be firm and dry.

Remove from baking sheet to cool on brown paper. (A paper grocery sack works well.) When cooled, store in an air-tight container to retain moist texture.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Black-eyed Pea Gravy with Eggs

I first created this recipe in 2002 and have refined it over the years. This is a take-off of the ever popular Biscuits and Gravy. I was amazed, but the kids ate every bit of this!

Serves 6

canola oil spray

1/2 lb. bulk country sage pork sausage

1 med. onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika, ground

¼ tsp. thyme, c/s

1/8 tsp. black pepper, ground

¼ cup flour

2 ½ - 3 cups milk

1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon base

1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas, drained

6 slices toast, cut diagonally (toast points)

6 eggs, poached

1 cup shredded mild cheddar or Colby cheese

Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet until hot and dry. Remove from heat and lightly coat with canola oil spray. Return to very low heat while dicing vegetables.

Sauté sausage, onion and celery with spices, breaking up sausage into crumbles, until onion is translucent and sausage is no longer pink.

Stir in flour.

Stir in milk and chicken base.

Stir in peas and cook over medium heat until just boiling, stirring constantly.

Set four toast points on each plate. Cover with a scoop of gravy. Place poached egg on top. Cover with a half scoop of gravy. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with fresh fruit – grapefruit halves, citrus or apple wedges, a clump of grapes or fruit salad.

Option: Instead of toast points, serve over an English muffin or a biscuit. If you are lucky enough to have fresh shelled black-eyed peas, add them to the skillet after sautéing the onions, celery and sausage. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or so before stirring in the flour and making the gravy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mexican Crab Rice

My oldest son likes this so much, he asks for it for his Birthday dinner. I created it for a nice rice dish to take to pot-lucks.

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp. canola oil

½ cup diced onion

1 cup white Basmati rice

1 ½ cups water

½ cup tomato sauce

1/4 tsp of your favorite hot sauce (Tabasco chipotle is real nice!)

1 can (3.5 oz.) chopped green chilies

1 Tbsp. chicken broth base

1 cup non-fat sour cream

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (reserve 2 Tbsp.)

1 can (6 oz.) flaked crab meat

In 6 cup stainless sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, sauté onions in oil until translucent.

Add rice, stirring constantly until rice whitens and is slightly toasted.

Stir in water, tomato sauce, chicken base and green chilies.

Bring to boil, cover tightly, turn heat to absolutely the lowest heat possible.

Cook for 20 minutes. Do not lift lid. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes before lifting lid.

Fluff rice with fork. Gently toss with sour cream, cheese, and undrained crab meat.

Turn into a pretty casserole for an attractive presentation. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

Serve immediately or put in insulated carrier and take to pot-luck.